Daily FX Trading Update: Risk Appetite on Improving Geopolitical Situation – Feb. 16, 2015

Daily FX Trading Update: Risk Appetite on Improving Geopolitical Situation - Feb. 16, 2015

The US dollar lost a lot of FX trading ground on Friday when risk appetite surged on the heels of improving geopolitical situations. Data from the US economy was weaker than expected, as the preliminary consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan fell from 98.1 to 93.6. US banks are on holiday today, which suggests lower liquidity during the New York trading session.

The euro managed to chalk up a few FX trading gains against the dollar but was still in a weak spot overall, as Greek debt negotiations failed to bear fruit. Officials are set to meet again this week and the lack of progress might mean more euro weakness. Data from the euro zone was mostly stronger than expected last Friday, with the region’s preliminary GDP reading showing 0.3% growth. There are no reports lined up from the euro zone today, leaving the Greek debt talks as the major catalyst for euro movements.

FX Trading News

The pound continued its FX trading ascent last week, buoyed by the upbeat sentiment during the BOE Inflation Report. Data from the UK was actually weaker than expected, as construction output posted a mere 0.4% monthly uptick instead of the estimated 2.6% gain. Earlier today, the Rightmove HPI indicated a 2.1% increase in house prices, stronger than the previous 1.4% increase.

Traders still seem to be refraining from trading the franc, afraid that sudden announcements from the SNB might lead to unprecedented moves once more. It appears that the margin restrictions among franc pairs has also translated to lower volatility and volumes for the currency. There are no reports due from Switzerland today.

The yen advanced to the dollar but consolidated against most of its other FX trading counterparts as risk appetite persisted towards the end of the week. The currency gapped down over the weekend as traders probably booked profits ahead of this week’s key events. Earlier today, the Japanese GDP report showed a weaker than expected 0.6% expansion versus the projected 0.9% growth figure. No other reports are due from Japan but traders might be pricing in expectations for the BOJ statement on Wednesday.

The comdolls managed to stay strong and supported by the pickup in risk appetite recently. Over the weekend, New Zealand reported stronger than expected quarterly retail sales data, adding to the Kiwi’s strength. Headline retail sales saw 1.7% growth versus the projected 1.3% increase while core retail sales advanced by 1.5%, higher than the estimated 1.1% gain. No other reports are due from the comdolls today.

To contact the reporter of the story: James Brennan at james@forexminute.com

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Samuel Rae is an active retail trader across a variety of assets, including currencies, stocks and commodities and the author of Diary of a Currency Trader (Harriman House). His personal strategy focuses primarily on classical technical charting patterns with a fundamentally supportive bias, combined with a strict, risk management-driven approach to entries and exits. He is an Economics graduate from Manchester University, UK.